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Full text of "Verdict On India"

280                                    VERDICT  OX INDIA
riots...(the bill was really copied from a similar measure in
British India)* The pages of Hansard could not show a debate that
was better balanced nor more moderate in temper than this,
though feeling ran high.1 The result of the debate was thirty-four
for the Ayes, twenty-one for the Xoes. Several significant amend-
ments were championed by the opposition ; all were incorporated.
It was an inspiring example of enlightened democracy—or perhaps
one should say enlightened aristocracy (though the two are not
necessarily opposed.)
I saw Mysore from almost every angle—beginning at the top,
in the Palace. Oh, that palace ! By day it is as indigestible,
architecturally speaking, as a wedding cake, which it strongly
resembles : it consists in layer upon layer of sugary decoration and
creain-puff ornament. But at dusk the whole gigantic edifice is
suddenly transformed, for they switch on the lights, and at once
we are in fairyland. The absurd confectionery of the building
melts away and we see only its skeleton, or rather its ghost,
tricked out in a thousand necklaces of light that seem to float
against the violet sky. suspended by invisible fingers.
The Maharajah himself is a young man of considerable culture
and transparent sincerity. He did not seem particularly ft pro-
British '; he made several shrewd and frank criticisms of our policy;
but he was certainly c pro-Mysore/ Most of his ministers would
have distinguished themselves in any British Cabinet—through
that, perhaps, is a double-edged compliment. They were chosen
from widely different ranks of society. Several of them went out
of their way to express to me their determination that Mysore
should never fall into Congress clutches.
"We will not tolerate Vakil Raj '2 was their way of putting it.
I also saw Mysore from the bottom. I came to know the
villagers, their wives and their children, in their homes, on their
fields, during their hours of work and of play. And also during
their hours of prayer, for on a certain hill not far from the city
there was a holy man, a Yogi, who for thirty years had lived in a
cave.. .or rather, a tiny hole in the rock. Pilgrims came to see
him from far and wide ; I used to stand in their ranks, and nobody
1 Mysore Legislative Council Debates, voL 48, No, 11, July 2nd, 1943.
* Lawyer rule.